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God Help Us — Now Obama Wants Gov’t to Rate Colleges — but SO DO AMERICANS? WHAT?

28 Jun

So Rasmussen reveals today, in its “Daily Update” of survey results, that

77% of Likely U.S. Voters who gave yes/no responses agree that a “world-class education is the single most important factor in determining whether our kids can compete for the best jobs and whether America can out-compete countries around the world”, that

69% (probably at least 75% of yes/no respondents) think U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS do NOT provide a world-class education, and that

64% (of yes/no respondents) favor a government college rating system.

 

Can we not see the problem here?  A major part of the reason why we are not getting world-class educations through our public schools is because of government intervention – yet – YET – people are willing to continue to think that giving government more control is a big part of the solution.  Can you not just anticipate what the rating system will look like that our government comes up with?  Will it have ANYthing to do with academic prowess?

Institutions of higher education are already rated by – who is it? Forbes? U.S. News and World Report? Others? – and colleges and universities have gamed these rating systems unmercifully, and created some degree of havoc in the school-seeking segment of our society.  And a strong majority of America’s voters think that a government system will be better?  When was a government system ever better in the mid- to long-term?

We deserve what we get.

On Evil

19 Mar

“Know what is evil, however much worshipped it may be.  Let the man of intelligence not fail to recognize it, . . . because it cannot . . . hide its core;  slavery does not lose its infamy, however noble the master.”

— Baltasar Graciàn, Spanish Jesuit (1601-1658)

Not a new thought — rather, a timeless one, as demonstrated by this 400-year-old proverb.  Very similar instruction found in the Bible.  Be vigilant in identifying evil for what it is.

Hey — How’s Our Investment in GM Doing, Anyway?

29 Aug

Michael Barone recently wrote an essay titled “GM Goes From Bad to Worse Despite Obama Bailout”, in which he points out the difference in thinking between Obama and conservatives regarding the success of this bailout.  It also portends what Obama will feel free to do if he is re-elected.  You can find the full essay at

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/gm_goes_from_bad_to_worse_despite_obama_bailout

Mr.  Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

Excerpts:   [Bolding is mine; content in brackets [ ] is mine]

.  .  .  .

“When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse,” Obama told a campaign event audience in Colorado earlier this month, “I said, let’s bet on America’s workers. And we got management and workers to come together, making cars better than ever, and now GM is No. 1 again and the American auto industry has come roaring back.”

His conclusion: “So now I want to say that what we did with the auto industry, we can do in manufacturing across America. .  .  .

Obama talks about the auto bailout frequently, since it’s one of the few things in his record that gets positive responses in the polls. But .  .  .  the GM bailout is not at all the success he claims.

GM has been selling cars in the U.S. at deep discount and, while it’s making money in China — and is outsourcing operations there and elsewhere — it’s bleeding losses in Europe.  .  .  .  

It botched the launch of its new Chevrolet Malibu by starting with the green-friendly Eco version, which pleased its government shareholders, but which got lousy reviews. And it’s selling only about 10,000 electric-powered Chevy Volts a year, a puny contribution toward Obama’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

“GM is going from bad to worse,” reads the headline on Automotive News Editor in Chief Keith Crain’s analysis. That’s certainly true of its stock price.

The government [the taxpayers] still owns 500 million shares of GM, 26 percent of the total. It needs to sell them for $53 a share to recover its $49.5 billion bailout. But the stock price is around $20 a share, and the Treasury now estimates that the government [the taxpayers] will lose more than $25 billion if and when it sells.  .  .  .

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that GM is bleeding money because of decisions made by a management eager to please its political masters — and by the terms of the bankruptcy arranged by Obama car czars Ron Bloom and Steven Rattner.

Rattner himself admitted late last year, in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club: “We should have asked the UAW (the United Auto Workers union) to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.” Non-union employees of GM spinoff Delphi lost their pensions. UAW members didn’t.

The UAW got their political payoff. And GM, according to Forbes writer Louis Woodhill, is headed to bankruptcy again.

Is this really what Obama wants to do for all manufacturing across America? Let’s hope not.

[End of excerpts]

 

 

I Beg to Disagree — Please? May I?

25 Jul

My favorite writer, Thomas Sowell, expressed the following in an essay he wrote 5-10 years ago.  It is perhaps even more applicable today than it was then.  The essay was titled “I Beg to Disagree”, and this is just an excerpt from it.  Dr. Sowell is an outspoken black conservative economist and author, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  His collections of essays are among the best books I have ever read.

 Excerpt:  [Bolding is mine; content within brackets [] is mine.]

 Too many people today act as if no one can honestly disagree with them.  If you have a difference of opinion with them, you are considered to be not merely in error but in sin.  You are a racist, a homophobe or whatever the villain of the day happens to be.

 Disagreements are inevitable whenever there are human beings but we seem to be in an era when the art of disagreeing is vanishing.  That is a huge loss because out of disagreements have often come deeper understandings than either side had before confronting each other’s arguments.

 Even wacko ideas have led to progress, when dealt with critically, in terms of logic and evidence.  .  .  .

 Unfortunately, our educational system is not only failing to teach critical thinking, it is often itself a source of confused rhetoric and emotional venting in place of systematic reasoning.

 It is hard to think of a stronger argument for teaching people to examine arguments critically than the tragic history of 20th century totalitarianism .  .  .  . [Sowell goes on to discuss Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot – and even Jim Jones]

The point is not to teach [children] correct conclusions but to teach them to be able to use their own minds to analyze the issues that will come up in the years ahead .  .  .  .

 Rational disagreement can be not only useful but stimulating.  .  .  .

[End of Excerpts]

What are your thoughts about this?

 

 

Tell Me Again, Please, Why Medical Costs Are Going Up?

22 Jul

Could this be a significant part of the reason?  This chart was posted on Facebook by a friend who is a physician.

More Campaigning Lies?

14 Jul

From the pen of Jonathan Last, in The Weekly Standard:

.  .  .  [T]he Obama campaign has been poor-mouthing for months in fundraising emails to supporters, begging for $50, $20, even $5. In these sad-sack emails, Obama’s people morosely say that they’re resigned to being outspent by the Romney money machine in November.

If only it were true.

The Washington Post’s Ed Rogers crunched some numbers the other day. Here’s what he came up with:


To date, the Democratic National Committee, the Obama campaign and Obama super PACs have raised $471,400,000. This does not include at least $400 million that the labor unions have pledged to spend on Obama’s behalf. The Romney campaign, Republican National Committee and Romney super PACs have raised $264,223,126—and much of that was spent during the Republican primary contest.


If Rogers’s math is correct—and I haven’t seen anyone challenging him yet—then what we’re likely to see down the road is basically what we’re already seeing now in Ohio and other battleground states: a well-financed Romney operation that’s still outspent by pro-Obama forces.

More Political Rhetoric – The Employee Free Choice Act

28 Jun

Below is a piece of Thomas Sowell’s “A Political Glossary:  Part IV”, in which he gives examples of  politicians making shameless use of pious names to apply to legislation that has far-from-pious intent.

The full essay can be found at http://www.creators.com/conservative/thomas-sowell.html , along with Parts I, II, and III (which I wrote about in an earlier post).

Sowell is a senior fellow in economics at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

An excerpt from this essay:    [Bolding is mine]

The Obama administration introduced legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act.” What would it do? Destroy the free choice of workers as to whether or not they want to be represented by a labor union.

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 gave workers the right to a federally conducted secret ballot election, in which they could vote to have a union or not have a union. But, as more and more workers in recent years have voted not to have a union, union bosses have pushed for a law to allow this decision to be made without a secret ballot. This would allow union organizers to use pressure and coercion on those who don’t want to have a union.

Since union bosses contributed both money and manpower to the election of Barack Obama, it is hardly surprising that he was willing to reciprocate with the “Employee Free Choice Act.”

In this case, the Act failed to pass in Congress. But President Obama accomplished some of its goals by appointing pro-union members to the National Labor Relations Board, whose regulations tilted elections in the unions’ favor.

If you can’t be bothered to look beyond rhetoric to realities, don’t complain about bad laws, or even about the degeneration of law itself into arbitrary rule over what was once a free people.

[End of excerpt]

 Makes sense to me – how about you?